“The B.C. Covid-19 Collection: 2020 Six Word Art Stories created by voices of British Columbia, Canada”

We asked British Columbians how the C-word affects their lives – the beauty, truth, humour and ugliness. Here’s what they said in six words and more.


A visual story album of how the “C word” has affected our lives in British Columbia. From photographs, artwork, graffiti, personal 6-word stories written from adult perspectives, 6-word news glimpses and community snapshots to document uncertain times.

It takes thoughtful effort, collaboration and imagination to create a project like this. We may have different lifestyles, beliefs and perspectives but we all have stories to tell.

Just like the feature photo story, “Finally time to take our time”, I ask that you please take a reflective moment to read each and every six word story of this project and discover the meaning behind each one.

This is what we saw through our Corona-coloured eyeglasses in our beautiful province of British Columbia, Canada.

Our album opens with Part 1: Six Word Stories with Photographs or Artwork written, created and submitted by adult volunteers of this project.

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The feature photograph of this project (black & white photo of girl blowing dandelion puff ball) : “Finally time to take our time.” and the above six 6-word stories were written and photographed by Claudia Ho Lem.

LW In the Azalea Garden (1)

“Peace in the garden; waiting, remembering.” Story & painting created by L.W.

Kashi IMG_7312

“My eternal love for our elderly.” Story & photo by k.m.

Carol I just want ot hug her IMG_5603“I just want to hug her.”  Story & photo (of Carol’s mother) by Carol Carter.

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“Celebrating from afar on joyous occasions.” (on missing the ability to celebrate in person with the whole family) Story & photo by Bruna Lazzano.

Mia Logie 3a8b3809-b3bc-4657-b53d-3d56e10c71b0

“Inner lives blossom. Lives are close.”  Story & photo by Mia Logie.

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“Good snatched away, hope will triumph.”  Story & photo by Gerry O’day.

Jeff Winskell

“Newfound respect for full time parents.”  Story & photo by Jeff Winskell.

Natalie Realizing you're out of toilet paper IMG_20200521_162457

“Realizing you’re out of toilet paper.”  Story & photo by Natalie McMillan.

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“Sometimes cheerfulness shows in unexpected places.”  Story & photo by Jenny Morgan.

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“Retreat, Rethink, Resign, Reset, Rejuvenate, Reverie.”  Story & photo by David Geary.

Steve Bush Just happy to be getting out

“Just happy to be getting out.”  Story & photo by Steve Bush.

       “Let the outdoor games begin!”  “Done!”  Story & photos by Victoria.

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“No panic. We are here. Now.”  Story & photo by Jim Derricott.

John B IMG_7262

“Peace and freedom without Covid 19.”  Story & photo by JB.

Dolores 3IMG_2766“Wife’s first haircut?  Husband: guinea pig.”  Story & photo by Dolores.

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“This s**t has driven me to…”  Story & artwork by P.B.”

Joann Anna IMG_7352 2

Covid pictures instead of rainbow pictures!” A mother’s perspective on the subject of her daughter’s recent drawings (depicting the corona virus). Story & artwork, Anonymous.

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“Feel great when the body moves.”  By Erina.

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Wishing to the star…seeing friends.Ryo found the first star of the evening and immediately wished upon it to see his friends. Story & photo by Erina.

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Above four 6-word stories written by Shaya Sy-Rantfors.

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Above story & photo by Shaya Sy-Rantfors.

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“No work – more time to garden.” Story and photo by Nancy.

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“Utter satisfaction – growing my  own food.”  Story & photo by Jenny Morgan.

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“Patience, Family, Challenging, Isolated, Strength, Community.” Story & photo by Michelle Kaltenegger.

Phil Evans 84101213_495097501207160_8211579781750194176_n“They painted the hearts upside down.” Story & photo by @captphilevans.

Kristen Buckley image0 (3)“Vision becomes reality – functional, natural art.” Story and table created by Kristen Buckley. Photo by A.B.  (Yes, she made this table. It’s an old growth fir sourced from a timber furniture design business in Squamish, designed from a raw slab that started with bark and all! Legs sourced from Ontario and then the slab was sanded and finished with love.) 

Cea Sunrise Persons IMG_7309“A minefield of gratitude and resentment.” Story & photo by CSP.

Susan blue

“Mama. Yes. Mama. Yes. Mama. Yeeeeeeesssss.”  Story & photo by Susan Little.

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“Hugs overpowering uncertainty, fear and sadness. “ Story & photo by Judith Reyes Metcalfe.

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“My loves, delicate balance, life continues.”  Story & photo by Anna Parkes.

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“Time erases memories. Memories erase time.”  Story & photo by Susan Little.

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“From chaos, freedom emerges, commute-free.” Story & photo by Susan Smith Alexander.

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“Faith in God is believer’s shield.” Story by Agnes Dalisay. Photo by Sophia Stewart featuring her sister, Raquel Stewart.

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“Quarantine yoga. It keeps me grounded.” Story by Christine B. Photo by C.B.

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“Finding my sunshine inside and out.”  Story by Mary Chang.

Next is Part 2 of our album (during PHASE 1): Photographs documenting what we’ve noticed around our community.

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“Playground.” Photo by Shaya Sy-Rantfors.
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“Sidewalk.” Photo by P.B.
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Next is Part 2 (continued) of our album (during PHASE 2): Photographs documenting what we’ve noticed in our community.

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Yoga Mat 6 feet IMG_7441
Yoga Sign IMG_7538
Shell Gas June 17 IMG_7531
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Photo by Cecilia Graber Larrea.
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Photo by KS. Inspired by W.C.
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Photo by Natalie McMillan.

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IMG_7192“Beauty, truth, humour, ugliness, nature, art.” Story & photo by M.C. (graffiti artist unknown)

Next is Part 2 (continued) of our album (during PHASE 3): Photographs documenting what we’ve noticed in our community.

Alcohol allowed in some outdoor spaces.
Store bought face masks on shelf.
“Handmade masks on a trusty Pfaff” Submitted by Christine B.
“A smile goes a long way” Submitted by Chrissy Chequer.
Face masks become mandatory on Transit. (Aug 24/20)
Face masks mandatory on BC Ferries (Aug 24/20) Photo by J. R-M.
“Seabus Owl” wears a mask too!
“Bye Corona” Two words everyone is hoping for… Photo by MC, artwork unknown.

Lastly, Part 3 of our Album: List of British Columbia and Lower Mainland Highlights During Pandemic, in 6 Word Points:

  • Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau
  • 36th Premier of BC, John Horgan
  • Dr. Bonnie Henry, British Columbia PHO
  • Dr. Teresa Tam, Canada Chief PHO
  • Adrian Dix, BC Minister of Health
  • Nigel Howard, sign language hero
  • First death Lynn Valley Care Home (March 9, first death in Canada)
  • All British Columbia Public Schools Close (March 17)
  • Community centres, libraries, non-essential services close (March/April)
  • Spring camps, extra-curricular activities cancelled (March)
  • Playgrounds, skateboard parks, ski mountains close (March)
  • Some parks, trails, parking lots close (March)
  • Beaches, most parks, trails remain open (March)
  • Restaurants offer take away service only (March/April)
  • Dental practices offer emergency dental only (March)
  • Long hair due to salon closures
  • Social distancing, hand washing, face masks (March)
  • How Coronavirus took Lynn Valley article (Globe & Mail, March 21)
  • Local distilleries make free hand sanitizer (March)
  • Pots, pans, applause at 7pm nightly (for health care workers, March)
  • “Growing up in Quarantineland” by Margaret Atwood (Globe & Mail, March 28)
  • Bonnie Henry & Theresa Tam Art Mural (March)
  • Free online education, fitness, mental health etc (March)
  • Trudeau sends a message through Lego (April)
  • Homeschooling begins online with public schools (mid-April)
  • Parents f*cking hate trying to homeschool (ongoing)
  • Parents appreciate teachers more than ever (ongoing)
  • Dr. Bonnie Henry’s John Fluevog shoes (April)
  • White Caps face-masks to save Aquarium (April)
  • Government Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)
  • Income Tax filing deadline extended June 1
  • Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) support
  • Rent, mortgage, student loan financial support
  • Restrictions ease Victoria Day May weekend
  • Phase 1 ends May 18 Victoria Day (See Phase 1, BC’s Restart Plan)
  • https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/safety/emergency-preparedness-response-recovery/covid-19-provincial-support/phase-1
  • We enter Phase 2 for Covid (ends June 23, See Phase 2, BC’s Restart Plan)
  • https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/safety/emergency-preparedness-response-recovery/covid-19-provincial-support/phase-2
  • Cruise ships not welcome for summer (May)
  • 6 people gatherings, still no travel
  • North Shore Bowling closes for good (after 59 years! due to C-19, June)
  • Several businesses re-open, others close permanently.
  • Campgrounds set to reopen June 1
  • Voluntary return to school June 1
  • Parents fear making “voluntary” schooling decisions
  • Part-time school, staggering start hours
  • Elementary 50%, Secondary 20% – in class
  • Playgrounds being to re-open June 1
  • When will this f*cking pandemic end?
  • Waiting on vaccine to be created.
  • “Be kind, be calm, be safe.” (Dr. Bonnie Henry’s advice)
  • Phase 3 to start in June (June 24, See Phase 3, BC’s Restart Plan)
  • https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/safety/emergency-preparedness-response-recovery/covid-19-provincial-support/phase-3
  • Non-essential travel and film production resume
  • Careful travel allowed within the province
  • US Border non-essential travel remains closed
  • Many hotels, accommodations, resorts resume operations
  • Gatherings larger than 50 still banned
  • Limit the people within your bubble
  • Continue hand washing, social distancing, cleaning
  • Face masks mandatory for Translink, BC Ferries (Aug 24)
  •  Schools set to re-open September 10
  • Phase 4 Conditional on global availability of vaccine
  • https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/safety/emergency-preparedness-response-recovery/covid-19-provincial-support/phase-4
  • Ferry passengers can’t remain in cars (during sailings on enclosed car decks, BC Ferries)

The “C Word”: *Six Word Story Time Capsules* by Our Children

The “C” Word: Six word stories written by children, ages 6-14 to document these uncertain times (a 2020 time capsule snapshot) and the importance of friendship.


Nine years ago, I became a new mother shortly after I moved to the North Shore. The early days of breastfeeding, endless diapers and sleepless nights left me confined to the house, exhausted and — lonely. I was in love with my newborn son, but a piece of me missed part of my previous world, adult companionship.

A few months later, I discovered a local StrongStartBC centre, a free early learning drop-in program in my neighbourhood. (“It takes a village to raise a child”) It was in that bright, welcoming activity-filled room that I formed lifetime friendships with a group of strong, independent, super women and mothers (and a few super dads) over daily cups of hot tea, coffee and freshly baked cheese biscuits. When StrongStart closed each summer, we invited new and familiar families who lived both on and off the Shore to join us for play activities we organized throughout summertime and expanded our village over the years.

We shared tales of wisdom, headache and heartache about the chaos and the joys of raising little ones while our children formed their own playful friendships. Together we hosted play dates, exchanged free babysitting, confided, cried, offered advice, spoke of dreams and fears about parenting. We shared pieces of our inner selves (the humans we were before parenthood) which revolved around fragments of time sketched in between crying babies, toddler tantrums and defiant five-year olds.

It is because we became parents that we became friends the day we all met in that bright sunlit room in Norgate, or were introduced on that first day of kindergarten, or when old friendships revived upon parenthood. That community connection transformed into a foundational piece of our friendship and parenting history.

Over the past five years, a handful of the families moved away from our community to distances as short as a two-hour ferry sailing to as far away as a plane trip to see kangaroos. It’s not often I visit the friends who still live nearby because of our busy lives. Now, it will be much longer before we see each other again or be granted permission to hop on a ferry or book a plane trip to see the others.

We’ve all been faced with the rules of isolation and the notorious “C word.” We can’t visit in person – even if we stand two metres away and may only interact through phone calls and social media. We inevitably pass through time lapses where we don’t attempt to reach out to anyone at all – because we’re overwhelmed with anxiety, fatigue, homeschooling or struggling to remember what day of the week it is.

Here I am nine years later feeling – lonely again, for adult friendship. But today, we hold hands together in spirit because I know we’re all thinking of each other and all of our children.

Some of our kids still play together and I see them grow, while others are “mind’s eye Polaroids” captured at the ages, stages and varying degrees of cuteness of when they last played together or before they moved away – as if they haven’t grown over the years although I’ve seen countless new images of them on FaceBook.

The “C word” affects lives worldwide and it’s clear that during these unsettling times we’re in the midst of making history. Today we’re reclaiming our village that we built nine years ago and reconnecting ourselves through the words of our children across the globe. When our children grow up, it is my hope that they develop similar meaningful friendships that will provide them with the support they’ll need when they become parents, or maybe their playful friendships of today will blossom into adulthood.

I asked the children to write six word stories about how the “C word” has impacted their lives in order to document their emotions, expressions, thoughts, feelings, discoveries and observations during the pandemic and to enable them to share these “six word story time capsules” with their own children someday.

This is what the children of our village wrote:

Caden Age 9
“The roads are much more quieter.” By Caden, Age 9.

Sampson, Age ??
“Do I have allergies or Coronavirus?” By Sampson, Age 11.

Magnus Age 7
“Dino wants to make a friend.” (on missing friendship) By M.R, Age 7.

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“Carl found a friend named Dino.”  By M.R., Age 7

Griffin Age 6
Two 6-word stories: “We are making a tree house.”  And “Corona virus is stupid and sucks.”  By Griffin, actually age 7, because he forgot he just had a birthday!

Griffin Treehouse Age 6
“Griffin’s Tree House” By Griffin, Age 7.

Ashton Age 9 2
Three 6-word stories: “I rode my bike alot today.”  “I made a bow and arrow.”  I like to play Pokemon cards.” By Ashton, Age 9

Sophie Age 9 2 6 word comics
Two 6-word comic strips: Comic #1: “I’m out of t.p.” “It’s working!”  Comic #2: “I only got one.” “Oh yes!”  By S.R., Age 9.

Sophie Age 9 More than six
Some needed more than six words: “I wish I could play with my friends. I’m sad.” By S.R., Age 9.

Isla, Age 9
“Covid is boring and not fun.”  By Isla, Age 9.

Rowan, Age 11
“Don’t get to see my friends.”  By Rowan, Age 11

Koltyn & Cyanna
By siblings K.S, Age 10 and C.S., Age 12

Dylan 6 words
“Family is every thing you need.”  By Dylan, Age 9.

Rose, Age 10
Rose needed more than six words. “I feel awesome to be able to spend more time with family.” By Rose, Age 10 (and a half)

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Avery told these seven 6-word stories to his mama and she wrote them down for him. “Seven 6-word Stories” By Avery, Age 7.

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Artwork by mother & son. “What we’ve been doing during Corona” By Anna & her son Avery, Age 7.

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Eli told these four 6-word stories to his mama and she wrote them down for him. “Four 6-word stories” By Eli, Age 6.

Ema Age 11
“Stay strong and it’ll be okay.”  By Ema, Age 11

Ryo Age 7
“I miss my friends and school.”  By Ryo, Age 7

Kai Age 14

Phoenix Age 7
“I want to go to school.”  By Phoenix, Age 7.

ty age 12
“I’m locked out of the world” By Ty, Age 12.

Kathrine age 9
Home, in Pandemic of 2020: “Since Covid19, home became my life.”  By Kathrine, Age 9.

Lucas Age 9
“Find the good in every situation.”  By Lucas, Age 9

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“Love can cure people from Corona19” (written in Korean and English) By Siyoon, Age 9

“If ever there is tomorrow when we’re not together… there is something you must always remember. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we’re apart… I’ll always be with you.”
– Winnie the Pooh

“Friendship is the only cement that will ever hold the world together.”
– Woodrow T. Wilson

“Truly great friends are hard to find, difficult to leave, and impossible to forget.”
– Unknown

Featured photograph: “Ready to fight Corona!” (girl in orange jumpsuit) Isla, Age 9. Photo by Jennifer Morgan.

To make a comment or to contact the writer, please visit the
"About the Writer" page or leave a comment below.

Reconnecting with my 1979 Grade 3 teacher featured in “Teacher Magazine” By Mary Chang


This is a story of how I reconnected with my 1979 elementary school teacher after four decades. It describes the emotional connection that transpires between a student and teacher and how it empowers a child to believe in herself, nurture her creativity and follow her dreams into adulthood.

“Reconnecting with my 1979 Grade 3 Teacher, Lindsay Watson” is now published in Teacher Magazine, Jan/Feb 2020 issue. It’s dedicated to L.W. with a nod to the students of Ms Watson’s classroom.

Reconnecting with my Grade 3 teacher

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“Taking Steps”  Photo by Natalie McMillan

After you’ve read the above story “Reconnecting with my Grade 3 teacher”, I welcome you to take a step back into the past with me to read:

1-Lindsay Watson current
“Lindsay Watson”  Photo by Billy Woods Photography.

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“Flashback into 1979 – title page”

If you would like to make a comment about the story “Reconnecting with my Grade 3 Teacher, Lindsay Watson”, please submit it under the “About the Writer” page. You may also send a Letter to the Editor at Teacher Magazine at: teachermag@bctf.ca.

Version 2
“Words a writer loves to hear”: Handmade and received from L.W. after she read my story, February 2020

 

Why I Write in Six Words


The first sentence I published appeared in the book “Six Word Memoirs on Love and Heartbreak by Writers Famous and Obscure.” Famous: Dan Savage, Elizabeth Gilbert and Janice Dickinson. Obscure: Me.

“Six Word Memoirs” tell your truth. To honour Smith Magazine’s theme of “telling a story in six words” and to thank Harper-Collins for publishing my first piece, this is:

“Why I Write in Six Words”

Time flies by when I’m writing.

Keeps my spirit alive and happy.

Finally getting my voice – out there.

Love sound of fingertips on keyboard.

Nothing else matters when I write.

Found my flow, following my bliss.